The Murmur of the Cosmos

Akademie der Künste, Berlin

In a site-specific installation, the Akademie der Künste will be showing a selection of over sixty drawings, photographs and objects by the recipient of the 2023 Käthe Kollwitz Prize.

Sandra Vásquez de la Horra’s large-format works focus on conflicts that societies all over the world are currently grappling with. She tackles questions relating to gender order and sexuality, intercultural reflections and spiritual practices, confronting them with archetypes of our collective consciousness and social taboos.

The Murmur of the Cosmos. Sandra Vásquez de la Horra. Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2023, award ceremony and exhibition opening, 18 June 2024, © Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Photos: Moritz Haase

Drawing on dreams, the subconscious and memories, she creates a poetic visual world consisting of the imaginary and the real, at the centre of which stands human existence – explicitly women and the female body. A transformation process takes place in her drawings and objects: her treatment of the unknown as something real allows it to become an image and assume form. The artist enacts this process in the imagery she uses and in her method of fixing the works

she draws with graphite, gouache and pencil in a wax bath, thus creating a patina that gives the drawings and large-for-mat paper objects a material, physical quality.

De la Horra grew up in a period during which her native Chile was subjected, for seventeen years, to a regime of torture, abductions and human rights violations in the wake of the coup carried out by the military junta in 1973.

Her drawings, sculptures and installations are influenced as much by the history of Chile as by her examination of her own family history, the mythologies of the Indigenous population and European colonial rule in Central and South America.